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About Seneca the Younger



Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), also known as Seneca the Younger, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and—in one work—satirist from the Silver Age of Latin literature. Seneca was born in Corduba in Hispania, and raised in Rome, where he was trained in rhetoric and philosophy. Wikipedia

References:   Encyclopaedia Britannica   |   Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  

 

  

Seneca the Younger (quotes)

Quotes by Seneca the Younger

  • Praise thyself never.
  • Time discovers truth.
  • Truth never perishes.
  • You are your choices.
  • Everything may happen.
  • Learn how to feel joy.
  • Man is a social animal.
  • Find a path or make one.
  • He who is brave is free.
  • Every journey has an end.
  • One must steer, not talk.
  • The miserable are sacred.
  • We pardon familiar vices.
  • While we teach, we learn.
  • If you judge, investigate.
  • Man is a reasoning Animal.
  • One hand washes the other.
  • True love can fear no one.
  • Life is long if it is full.
  • Luck never made a man wise.
  • Men learn while they teach.
  • Mercy often inflicts death.
  • Revenge is an inhuman word.
  • What is true belongs to me!
  • Whatever begins, also ends.
  • While you teach, you learn.
  • Beyond all things is the sea
  • Nothing is ours except time.
  • What else is nature but God?
  • After death there is nothing.
  • As the world leads we follow.
  • Teach the art of living well.
  • Golden roofs break men’s rest.
  • He worships God who knows him.
  • If you wish to be loved, love.
  • Injustice never rules forever.
  • Life is short and art is long.
  • Nobody becomes guilty by fate.
  • Full of men, vacant of friends.
  • If you would judge, understand.
  • Ignorance is the cause of fear.
  • Love of action is not industry.
  • No man was ever wise by chance.
  • No one can have all he desires.
  • No one can keep a mask on long.
  • Self-denial is the best riches.
  • A good mind possesses a kingdom.
  • Be harsh with yourself at times.
  • He who is everywhere is nowhere.
  • Home joys are blessed of heaven.
  • Men practice war; beasts do not.
  • Necessity is stronger than duty.
  • Simple is the language of truth.
  • Speech is the index of the mind.
  • Where fear is, happiness is not.
  • As many servants so many enemies.
  • Calamity is virtue’s opportunity.
  • Forgive that you may be forgiven.
  • I would rather be sick than idle.
  • Men’s language is as their lives.
  • Speech is the mirror of the mind.
  • The best cure for anger is delay.
  • Who has more leisure than a worm?
  • Wisdom comes to no one by chance.
  • All cruelty springs from weakness.
  • Expediency often silences justice.
  • Fear drives the wretched to prayer
  • Money has yet to make anyone rich.
  • No man ever became wise by chance.
  • The Germans, a race eager for war.
  • The sun shines even on the wicked.
  • To be everywhere is to be nowhere.
  • To the stars through difficulties.
  • Unjust dominion cannot be eternal.
  • Unjust rule does not last forever.
  • A good mind is a lord of a kingdom.
  • A great fortune is a great slavery.
  • All art is but imitation of nature.
  • Everything hangs on one’s thinking.
  • Fine conduct is always spontaneous.
  • In every good man a God doth dwell.
  • The best ideas are common property.
  • While we wait for life, life passes
  • You talk one way, you live another.
  • … frugality makes a poor man rich.
  • As was his language so was his life.
  • For greed, all nature is too little.
  • No evil is without its compensation.
  • Successful villany is called virtue.
  • The voice is nothing but beaten air.
  • To govern was to serve, not to rule.
  • A great mind becomes a great fortune.
  • Abstinence is easier than temperance.
  • Do what you should, not what you may.
  • He who begs timidly courts a refusal.
  • Money has never yet made anyone rich.
  • No one can wear a mask for very long.
  • Philosophy is the health of the mind.
  • See what daily exercise does for one.
  • The abundance of books is distraction
  • What once were vices are manners now.
  • Who timidly requests invites refusal.
  • You learn to know a pilot in a storm.
  • Consider an enemy may become a friend.
  • He who is penitent is almost innocent.
  • I was shipwrecked before I got aboard.
  • Lack of desire is the greatest riches.
  • Modesty forbids what the law does not.
  • No crime has been without a precedent.
  • The expression of truth is simplicity.
  • The fortune of war is always doubtful.
  • Time is the greatest remedy for anger.
  • To rule yourself is the ultimate power
  • Whom they have injured they also hate.
  • As long as you live, learn how to live.
  • Do everything as in the eye of another.
  • Every guilty person is his own hangman.
  • Fire proves gold, adversity proves men.
  • Greed’s worst point is its ingratitude.
  • In war there is no prize for runner-up.
  • It is opportunity that makes the thief.
  • Know thyself; this is the great object.
  • Life is long if you know how to use it.
  • Life without literary studies is death.
  • Poverty needs much, avarice everything.
  • The most happy ought to wish for death.
  • To meditate an injury is to commit one.
  • You roll my log, and I will roll yours.
  • A man’s as miserable as he thinks he is.
  • A thousand approaches lie open to death.
  • Crime when it succeeds is called virtue.
  • Death takes us piecemeal, not at a gulp.
  • Don’t stumble over something behind you.
  • Every change of place becomes a delight.
  • Fire tries gold, misery tries brave men.
  • He is most powerful who governs himself.
  • Real improvement is of slow growth only.
  • This life is only a prelude to eternity.
  • True love hates and will not bear delay.
  • Virtue is nothing else than right reason
  • We learn not in the school, but in life.
  • While we are postponing, life speeds by.
  • A hated government does not long survive.
  • Apples taste sweetest when they’re going.
  • Chance makes a plaything of a man’s life.
  • Crime oft recoils upon the author’s head.
  • Drunkenness is simply voluntary insanity.
  • His head was turned by too great success.
  • No untroubled day has ever dawned for me.
  • One crime has to be concealed by another.
  • People do not die – they kill themselves.
  • The fear of war is worse than war itself.
  • Unblest is he who thinks himself unblest.
  • While crime is punished it yet increases.
  • A troubled countenance oft discloses much.
  • Elegance is not an ornament worthy of man.
  • Everything in art is but a copy of nature.
  • He sins not, who is not wilfully a sinner.
  • He who spares the wicked injures the good.
  • No one is laughable who laughs at himself.
  • Of war men ask the outcome, not the cause.
  • Our fears vanish as the danger approaches.
  • Resistance to oppression is second nature.
  • Small sorrows speak great ones are silent.
  • The way to good conduct is never too late.
  • There is no evil without its compensation.
  • Those alone are wise who know how to love.
  • Vice may be learnt, even without a teacher
  • Whatever is well said by another, is mine.
  • An unpopular rule is never long maintained.
  • Crime requires further crime to conceal it.
  • Every reign must submit to a greater reign.
  • Fire tests gold, suffering tests brave men.
  • It is part of the cure to wish to be cured.
  • It is pleasant at times to play the madman.
  • Let the weary at length possess quiet rest.
  • Life without the courage to die is slavery.
  • Misfortune is the test of a person’s merit.
  • No man is free who is a slave to the flesh.
  • That grief is light which can take counsel.
  • The worse a person is the less he feels it.
  • Death’s the discharge of our debt of sorrow.
  • Disease is not of the body but of the place.
  • Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness
  • Familiarity reduces the greatness of things.
  • God is near you, is with you, is inside you.
  • He who asks with timidity invites a refusal.
  • Indolence is stagnation; employment is life.
  • Laugh at your problems; everybody else does.
  • Light is that grief which counsel can allay.
  • Many things have fallen only to rise higher.
  • Nature ever provides for her own exigencies.
  • Our plans miscarry because they have no aim.
  • The arts are the servant; wisdom its master.
  • The ascent from earth to heaven is not easy.
  • The greatest wealth is a poverty of desires.
  • The language of truth is unvarnished enough.
  • Those griefs burn most which gall in secret.
  • To live is not a blessing, but to live well.
  • Courage leads to heaven; fear leads to death.
  • Democracy is more cruel than wars or tyrants.
  • Dignity increases more easily than it begins.
  • Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.
  • He has committed the crime who profits by it.
  • He who has great power should use it lightly.
  • If virtue precede us every step will be safe.
  • It is rash to condemn where you are ignorant.
  • The fearful face usually betrays great guilt.
  • We have not to talk, but to steer the vessel.
  • What was hard to suffer is sweet to remember.
  • Even after a bad harvest there must be sowing.
  • Fortune can take away riches, but not courage.
  • Gold is tried by fire, brave men by adversity.
  • I am telling you to be a slow-speaking person.
  • I don’t trust liberals, I trust conservatives.
  • It is well to be born either a king or a fool.
  • Life is most delightful on the downward slope.
  • Life without the courage for death is slavery.
  • Luck is preparation multiplied by opportunity.
  • Persistent kindness conquers the ill-disposed.
  • Shame may restrain what law does not prohibit.
  • Sovereignty over any foreign land is insecure.
  • Success consecrates the most offensive crimes.
  • That comes too late that comes for the asking.
  • There is no power greater than true affection.
  • Tis a human trait to hate one you have wronged
  • To wish to be well is a part of becoming well.
  • We suffer more in imagination than in reality.
  • What you think is the summit is only a step up
  • An age builds up cities: an hour destroys them.
  • As long as you live, keep learning how to live.
  • Economy is in itself a great source of revenue.
  • He who forbids not sin when he may, commands it
  • It is not goodness to be better than the worst.
  • Loyalty is the holiest good in the human heart.
  • Servitude seizes on few, but many seize on her.
  • The part of life which we really live is short.
  • The profit on a good action is to have done it.
  • The world itself is too small for the covetous.
  • There exists no more difficult art than living.
  • There is nothing the wise man does reluctantly.
  • There’s no delight in owning anything unshared.
  • To forgive all is as inhuman as to forgive none
  • We are taught for the schoolroom, not for life.
  • Where reason fails, time oft has worked a cure.
  • A dwarf can stand on a mountain, he’s no taller.
  • Death is a release from and an end of all pains.
  • Fidelity bought with money is overcome by money.
  • He who fears from near at hand often fears less.
  • I do not sacrifice, but lend myself to business.
  • If I only have the will to be grateful, I am so.
  • It is quality rather than quantity that matters.
  • It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.
  • Laws do not persuade just because they threaten.
  • No possession is gratifying without a companion.
  • Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.
  • Our words should aim not to please, but to help.
  • That which takes effect by chance is not an art.
  • There is no genius without a mixture of madness.
  • To make a commencement requires a mental effort.
  • Voyage, travel, and change of place impart vigor
  • We learn not for life but for the debating-room.
  • What were once vices are the fashion of the day.
  • Whenever the speech is corrupted so is the mind.
  • A coward calls himself cautious, a miser thrifty.
  • A thing seriously pursued affords true enjoyment.
  • As long as we are among humans, let us be humane.
  • Fidelity purchased with money, money can destroy.
  • It is the superfluous things for which men sweat.
  • Let ease and rest at times be given to the weary.
  • Make haste to live, and consider each day a life.
  • The more violent the storm the sooner it is over.
  • There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.
  • To err is human. To repeat error is of the Devil.
  • What you do for an ungrateful man is thrown away.
  • A young man respects and looks up to his teachers.
  • Brother, the Great Spirit has made us all. . . . .
  • Do not ask for what you will wish you had not got.
  • He who dreads hostility too much is unfit to rule.
  • I am ashamed of my master and not of my servitude.
  • Leave in concealment what has long been concealed.
  • Light troubles speak; the weighty are struck dumb.
  • Modesty once extinguished knows not how to return.
  • Prosperity asks for fidelity; adversity exacts it.
  • Some cures are worse than the dangers they combat.
  • The anger of those in authority is always weighty.
  • The man who can be compelled knows not how to die.
  • The rust of the mind is the destruction of genius.
  • The wretched hasten to hear of their own miseries.
  • The young man must store up, the old man must use.
  • A foolishness is inflicted with a hatred of itself.
  • A well-governed appetite is a great part of liberty
  • But it is a pretty thing to see what money will do!
  • Friendship always benefits; love sometimes injures.
  • He who repents of having sinned is almost innocent.
  • He will live ill who does not know how to die well.
  • It is sometimes pleasant even to act like a madman.
  • Light cares cry out; the great ones still are dumb.
  • No emotion falls into dislike so readily as sorrow.
  • No wind blows in favor of a ship without direction.
  • Nothing costs so much as what is bought by prayers.
  • The fates lead the willing, and drag the unwilling.
  • The friends of the unfortunate live a long way off.
  • The way to wickedness is always through wickedness.
  • Whom the dawn sees proud, evening sees prostrate.
  • All things are cause for either laughter or weeping.
  • Associate with people who are likely to improve you.
  • Drunkenness is nothing else but a voluntary madness.
  • Great grief does not of itself put an end to itself.
  • He who has made a fair compact with poverty is rich.
  • Life, if thou knowest how to use it, is long enough.
  • Light griefs are loquacious, but the great are dumb.
  • Men love their vices and hate them at the same time.
  • Nature does not bestow virtue; to be good is an art.
  • Our fears are always more numerous than our dangers.
  • The approach of liberty makes even an old man brave.
  • The foundation of the true joy is in the conscience.
  • The hour which gives us life begins to take it away.
  • The wish for healing has always been half of health.
  • Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember.
  • Time discovers truth. Time heals what reason cannot.
  • Virtue with some is nothing but successful temerity.
  • Every man prefers belief to the exercise of judgment.
  • Everyone prefers belief to the exercise of judgement.
  • Fate leads the willing and drags along the reluctant.
  • Fortune may rob us of our wealth, not of our courage.
  • God never repents of what He has first resolved upon.
  • Gold tests with fire, woman with gold, man with woman
  • It is easier to grow in dignity than to make a start.
  • Leisure without literature is death and burial alive.
  • Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.
  • The deferring of anger is the best antidote to anger.
  • The mind, unless it is pure and holy, cannot see God.
  • The most onerous slavery is to be a slave to oneself.
  • The whole discord of this world consists in discords.
  • There is no genius free from some tincture of madness
  • Those whom true love has held, it will go on holding.
  • Whatever we give to the wretched, we lend to fortune.
  • When modesty has once perished, it will never revive.
  • Who can hope for nothing, should despair for nothing.
  • Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.
  • It is a proof of nobility of mind to despise injuries.
  • Light griefs do speak, while sorrow’s tongue is bound.
  • No good thing is pleasant without friends to share it.
  • That which achieves its effect by accident is not art.
  • Extreme remedies are never the first to be resorted to.
  • Good sides to adversity are best admired at a distance.
  • Haste trips up its own heels, fetters and stops itself.
  • He that does good to another does good also to himself.
  • I don‚Äôt mind citing a bad author if the line is good.
  • Live for thy neighbor if thou wouldst live for thyself.
  • Nothing is more hateful to wisdom than to much cunning.
  • Remove severe restraint and what will become of virtue?
  • That which Fortune has not given, she cannot take away.
  • The great pilot can sail even when his canvass is rent.
  • The greater part of progress is the desire to progress.
  • We never reflect how pleasant it is to ask for nothing.
  • When I think over what I have said, I envy dumb people.
  • Where silence is not allowed, what then is permissible?
  • A person’s fears are lighter when the danger is at hand.
  • He is not guilty who is not guilty of his own free will.
  • Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
  • Nothing deters a good man from doing what is honourable.
  • Nothing is so contemptible as the sentiments of the mob.
  • Pleasure dies at the very moment when it charms us most.
  • Poverty wants some, luxury many, and avarice all things.
  • Prudence will punish to prevent crime, not to avenge it.
  • The foremost art of Kings is the power to endure hatred.
  • The largest part of goodness is the will to become good.
  • Wealth is the slave of a wise man. The master of a fool.
  • What is required is not a lot words, but effectual ones.
  • Whoever has nothing to hope, let him despair of nothing.
  • Authority founded on injustice is never of long duration.
  • Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.
  • Eyes will not see when the heart wishes them to be blind.
  • Genius always gives its best at first; prudence, at last.
  • My joy in learning is partly that it enables me to teach.
  • No one should feel pride in anything that is not his own.
  • Not he who has little, but he whose wishes more, is poor.
  • Slavery takes hold of few, but many take hold of slavery.
  • The bounty of nature is too little for the greedy person.
  • There is no satisfaction in any good without a companion.
  • You cannot escape necessities, but you can overcome them.
  • A benefit is estimated according to the mind of the giver.
  • Constant exposure to dangers will breed contempt for them.
  • Delay not; swift the flight of fortune’s greatest favours.
  • Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
  • Fate rules the affairs of men, with no recognizable order.
  • He who boasts of his descent, praises the deed of another.
  • It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.
  • It is often better not to see an insult than to avenge it.
  • It is the sign of a weak mind to be unable to bear wealth.
  • Leisure without books is death, and burial of a man alive.
  • Retirement without the love of letters is a living burial.
  • The mind that is anxious about future events is miserable.
  • There is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.
  • There is nothing after death, and death itself is nothing.
  • We live not according to reason, but according to fashion.
  • You need a change of soul rather than a change of climate.
  • A crowd of fellow-sufferers is a miserable kind of comfort.
  • If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living.
  • It is proof of a bad cause when it is applauded by the mob.
  • It’s a vice to trust all, and equally a vice to trust none.
  • Speech devoted to truth should be straightforward and plain
  • The guilt of enforced crimes lies on those who impose them.
  • The mind unlearns with difficulty what it has long learned.
  • The shortest road to wealth lies in the contempt of wealth.
  • There is more heroism in self-denial than in deeds of arms.
  • We gain so much by quickness, and lose so much by slowness.
  • We have been born under a monarchy; to obey God is freedom.
  • When one is friend on himself, also is friend of everybody.
  • You must live for another if you wish to live for yourself.
  • A great step toward independence is a good-humoured stomach.
  • All that lies betwixt the cradle and the grave is uncertain.
  • Drunkenness is nothing but a self-induced state of insanity.
  • He who does not prevent a crime, when he can, encourages it.
  • I had rather never receive a kindness than never bestow one.
  • It is better to have useless knowledge than to know nothing.
  • It is equally a fault to believe all men or to believe none.
  • Let me therefore live as if every moment were to be my last.
  • Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.
  • The path of increase is slow, but the road to ruin is rapid.
  • The point is, not how long you live, but how nobly you live.
  • Time hath often cured the wound which reason failed to heal.
  • Tis not the belly’s hunger that costs so much, but its pride
  • To make another person hold his tongue, be you first silent.
  • A lesson that is never learned can never be too often taught.
  • A man afraid of death will never play the part of a live man.
  • Adversity finds at last the man whom she has often passed by.
  • An old man at school is a contemptible and ridiculous object.
  • Begin at once to live, and count each day as a separate life.
  • Economy is too late when you are at the bottom of your purse.
  • Fortune dreads the brave, and is only terrible to the coward.
  • Hardly a man will you find who could live with his door open.
  • He may as well not thank at all, who thanks when none are by.
  • Obedience is yielded more readily to one who commands gently.
  • The first step towards amendment is the recognition of error.
  • To be enslaved to oneself is the heaviest of all servitudes.-
  • Who needs forgiveness, should the same extend with readiness.
  • …it is more civilized to make fun of life than to bewail it.
  • …nothing is so entirely admirable as a man bravely wretched.
  • He who tenders doubtful safety to those in trouble refuses it.
  • How great would be our peril if our slaves began to number us!
  • If God adds another day to our life, let us receive it gladly.
  • Leisure without study is death, and the grave of a living man.
  • That loss is most discreditable which is caused by negligence.
  • The man who thinks only of his own generation is born for few.
  • The mind is never right but when it is at peace within itself.
  • The poor are not the people with less, which is less desirable
  • There is nothing more miserable and foolish than anticipation.
  • Trifling trouble find utterance; deeply felt pangs are silent.
  • Truths open to everyone, and the claims aren’t all staked yet.
  • What-so-ever the mind has ordained for itself, it has achieved
  • When you see a man in distress, recognize him as a fellow man.
  • You will die not because you’re ill, but because you’re alive.
  • A friend always loves, but he who loves is not always a friend.
  • A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer’s hand.
  • He deserves praise who does not what he may, but what he ought.
  • He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone.
  • He, who will not pardon others, must not himself expect pardon.
  • It is never too late to learn what is always necessary to know.
  • Power exercised with violence has seldom been of long duration.
  • The entire world would perish, if pity were not to limit anger.
  • The person you are matters more than the place to which you go.
  • The worst thing about getting old is evil men cease to fear you
  • Auditur et altera pars. (The other side shall be heard as well.)
  • Drunkenness does not create vice; it merely brings it into view.
  • Genius has never been accepted without a measure of condonement.
  • I am not born for one corner; the whole world is my native land.
  • If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.
  • It is a youthful failing to be unable to control one’s impulses.
  • Levity of behavior is the bane of all that is good and virtuous.
  • Nothing is so bitter that a calm mind cannot find comfort in it.
  • Our (the Stoic) motto, as you know, is live according to nature.
  • Religion worships God, while superstition profanes that worship.
  • Straightforwardness and simplicity are in keeping with goodness.
  • The great thing is to know when to speak and when to keep quiet.
  • The thing that matters is not what you bear, but how you bear it
  • There is no fair wind for one who knows not whither he is bound.
  • Drunkenness doesn’t create vices, but it brings them to the fore.
  • He is a king who fears nothing, he is a king who desires nothing!
  • How much does great prosperity overspread the mind with darkness.
  • I am not born from a single place. My country is the whole world.
  • I was not born for one corner. The whole world is my native land.
  • If you will fear nothing, think that all things are to be feared.
  • Nature has given us the seeds of knowledge, not knowledge itself.
  • Never to wrong others takes one a long way towards peace of mind.
  • Our posterity will wonder about our ignorance of things so plain.
  • Shun no toil to make yourself remarkable by some talent or other.
  • The first step in a person’s salvation is knowledge of their sin.
  • The path of precept is long, that of example short and effectual.
  • The physician cannot prescribe by letter, he must feel the pulse.
  • There has never been any great genius without a spice of madness.
  • They who have light in themselves will not revolve as satellites.
  • Time is the one thing that is given to everyone in equal measure.
  • Death is the wish of some, the relief of many, and the end of all.
  • Life’s neither a good nor an evil: it’s a field for good and evil.
  • Night brings our troubles to the light, rather than banishes them.
  • No book can be so good, as to be profitable when negligently read.
  • No one can hold absolute power for long, controlled power endures.
  • No one’s so old that he mayn’t with decency hope for one more day.
  • Our care should not be to have lived long as to have lived enough.
  • Remember, not one penny can we take with us into the unknown land.
  • The articulate, trained voice is more distracting than mere noise.
  • The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity.
  • The mind makes the nobleman, and uplifts the lowly to high degree.
  • Those who boast of their descent, brag on what they owe to others.
  • Anger is like those ruins which smash themselves on what they fall.
  • Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
  • He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.
  • If you wish another to keep your secret, first keep it to yourself.
  • It is of course better to know useless things than to know nothing.
  • Let us bear with magnanimity whatever it is needful for us to bear.
  • Life is a play.It’s not its length,but its performance that counts.
  • Nothing is void of God, his work is everywhere his full of himself.
  • Other men’s sins are before our eyes; our own are behind our backs.
  • The mind does not easily unlearn what it has been long in learning.
  • The road by precepts is tedious, by example, short and efficacious.
  • The soul has this proof of divinity: that divine things delight it.
  • We most often go astray on a well trodden and much frequented road.
  • Go on and increase in valor, O boy! this is the path to immortality.
  • I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good.
  • If you are surprised at the number of our maladies, count our cooks.
  • In a moment the ashes are made, but a forest is a long time growing.
  • It is medicine, not scenery, for which a sick man must go searching.
  • No work is of such merit as to instruct from a mere cursory perusal.
  • The Fates guide those who go willingly. Those who do not, they drag.
  • The willing, destiny guides them; the unwilling, destiny drags them.
  • This body is not a home, but an inn; and that only for a short time.
  • Whatsoever has exceeded its proper limit is in an unstable position.
  • Death is a punishment to some, to others a gift and to many a favour.
  • It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.
  • It is the fault of youth that it cannot restrain its own impetuosity.
  • Let no man give advice to others that he has not first given himself.
  • Success gives the character of honesty to some classes of wickedness.
  • That which has been endured with difficulty is remedied with delight.
  • The heart is great which shows moderation in the midst of prosperity.
  • The tempest threatens before it comes; houses creak before they fall.
  • The vices of idleness are only to be shaken off by active employment.
  • Those that are a friend to themselves are sure to be a friend to all.
  • Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.
  • Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.
  • Great men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.
  • If you don’t know what port you are sailing to, no wind is favourable.
  • That is never too often repeated, which is never sufficiently learned.
  • The wise man lives as long as he should, not just as long as he likes.
  • Away with the world’s opinion of you-it’s always unsettled and divided.
  • Bear in mind that you commit a crime by injuring even a wicked brother.
  • I shall never be ashamed to quote a bad author if what he says is good.
  • It is the failing of youth not to be able to restrain its own violence.
  • Slavery holds few men fast; the greater number hold fast their slavery.
  • So live with an inferior as you would wish a superior to live with you.
  • The Best sign of Wisdom is the consistency between the words and deeds.
  • We are sure to get the better of fortune if we do but grapple with her.
  • Accustom yourself to that which you bear ill, and you will bear it well.
  • He who boasts of his pedigree praises that which does not belong to him.
  • He who seeks wisdom is a wise man; he who thinks he has found it is mad.
  • It is not the man who has little, but he who desires more, that is poor.
  • Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.
  • A large part of mankind is angry not with the sins, but with the sinners.
  • How can a thing possibly govern others when it cannot be governed itself?
  • Humanity is fortunate, because no man is unhappy except by his own fault.
  • If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable.
  • No choice maxims – we Stoics don’t practice that kind of window dressing.
  • No one can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it.
  • So live with men as if God saw you and speak to God, as if men heard you.
  • The first and greatest punishment of the sinner is the conscience of sin.
  • The kind of solace that arises from having company in misery is spiteful.
  • What narrow innocence it is for one to be good only according to the law.
  • A good character is the only guarantee of everlasting, carefree happiness.
  • Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.
  • It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.
  • Its harder for people to seek retirement from themselves than from the law
  • Lay hold of today’s task, and you will not depend so much upon tomorrow’s.
  • No one can be despised by another until he has learned to despise himself.
  • Not to feel one’s misfortunes is not human, not to bear them is not manly.
  • Retirement without literary amusements is death itself, and a living tomb.
  • See how many are better off than you are, but consider how many are worse.
  • Take away ambition and vanity, and where will be your heroes and patriots?
  • The worst evil of all is to leave the ranks of the living before one dies.
  • Whatever one of us blames in another, each one will find in his own heart.
  • You should keep on learning as long as there is something you do not know.
  • Death is sometimes a punishment, often a gift; to many it has been a favor.
  • It is extreme evil to depart from the company of the living before you die.
  • Philosophy’s power to blunt all the blows of circumstance is beyond belief.
  • Prudence and love cannot be mixed; you can end love, but never moderate it.
  • The real compensation of a right action is inherent in having performed it.
  • There is nothing wrong with changing a plan when the situation has changed.
  • True praise comes often even to the lowly; false praise only to the strong.
  • Whenever you hold a fellow creature in distress, remember that he is a man.
  • A sword by itself does not slay; it is merely the weapon used by the slayer.
  • Everything that exceeds the bounds of moderation has an unstable foundation.
  • He who blushes at riding in a rattletrap, will boast when he rides in style.
  • I require myself not to be equal to the best, but to be better then the bad.
  • It is the characteristic of a weak and diseased mind to fear the unfamiliar.
  • It should be our care not so much to live a long life as a satisfactory one.
  • It’s not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it.
  • Let him who has given a favor be silent; let he who has received it tell it.
  • No one loves his country for its size or eminence, but because it’s his own.
  • So enjoy the pleasures of the hour as not to spoil those that are to follow.
  • Whatever has overstepped its due bounds is always in a state of instability.
  • When once ambition has passed its natural limits, its progress is boundless.
  • You can tell the character of every man when you see how he receives praise.
  • He who receives a benefit with gratitude, repays the first installment of it.
  • He, who holds out but a doubtful hope of succour to the afflicted, denies it.
  • It is impossible to imagine anything which better becomes a ruler than mercy.
  • Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own.
  • The gladiator is formulating his plan in the arena or essentially Too late.
  • The greatest man is he who chooses right with the most invincible resolution.
  • Vice is contagious, and there is no trusting the sound and the sick together.
  • We are wrong in looking forward to death: in great measure it’s past already.
  • Whatever fortune has raised to a height, she has raised only to cast it down.
  • You can only acquire it successfully if you cease to feel any sense of shame.
  • He robs present ills of their power who has perceived their coming beforehand.
  • Let us say what we feel, and feel what we say; let speech harmonize with life.
  • Look at the stars lighting up the sky: no one of them stays in the same place.
  • So called pleasures, when they go beyond a certain limit, are but punishments.
  • Something that can never be learnt too thoroughly can never be said too often.
  • The chief bond of the soldier is his oath of allegiance and love for the flag.
  • The way is long if one follows precepts, but short… if one follows patterns.
  • What a vile and abject thing is man if he do not raise himself above humanity.
  • When you die, it will not be because you are sick, but because you were alive.
  • A favor is to a grateful man delightful always; to an ungrateful man only once.
  • Call it Nature, Fate, Fortune; all these are names of the one and selfsame God.
  • If we could be satisfied with anything, we should have been satisfied long ago.
  • It’s the admirer and the watcher who provoke us to all the inanities we commit.
  • Life is a gift of the immortal Gods, but living well is the gift of philosophy.
  • Long is the road to learning by precepts, but short and successful by examples.
  • No man is crushed by misfortune unless he has first been deceived by prosperity
  • Some lack the fickleness to live as they wish and just live as they have begun.
  • Some laws, though unwritten, are more firmly established than all written laws.
  • The evil which assails us is not in the localities we inhabit but in ourselves.
  • Virtue needs a director and guide. Vice can be learned even without a teacher.
  • What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.
  • You cease to be afraid when you cease to hope; for hope is accompanied by fear.
  • Be not dazzled by beauty, but look for those inward qualities which are lasting.
  • Corporeal punishment falls far more heavily than most weighty pecuniary penalty.
  • God has given some gifts to the whole human race, from which no one is excluded.
  • If thou art a man, admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail.
  • It is bad to live for necessity; but there is no necessity to live in necessity.
  • Philosophy is good advice, and no one gives good advice at the top of his lungs.
  • There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it.
  • This is the reason we cannot complain of life: it keeps no one against his will.
  • To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.
  • We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right.
  • Anger is like a ruin, which, in falling upon its victim, breaks itself to pieces.
  • Behold a contest worthy of a god, a brave man matched in conflict with adversity.
  • If you sit in judgment, investigate, if you sit in supreme power, sit in command.
  • It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
  • Live among others as if God beheld you; speak to God as if others were listening.
  • No man enjoys the true taste of life, but he who is ready and willing to quit it.
  • The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one.
  • The wise man will always reflect concerning the quality not the quantity of life.
  • They lose the day in expectation of the night, and the night in fear of the dawn.
  • As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
  • Beauty is such a fleeting blossom, how can wisdom rely upon its momentary delight?
  • How much longer are you going to be a pupil? From now on do some teaching as well.
  • The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity.
  • Anyone can stop a man’s life, but no one his death; a thousand doors open on to it.
  • Be silent as to services you have rendered, but speak of favours you have received.
  • It is not poverty that we praise, it is the man whom poverty cannot humble or bend.
  • It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.
  • Nothing is as certain as that the vices of leisure are gotten rid of by being busy.
  • That which is given with pride and ostentation is rather an ambition than a bounty.
  • The key to getting everything you want is to never put all your begs in one ask-it!
  • There is a noble manner of being poor, and who does not know it will never be rich.
  • A man who suffers or stresses before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary
  • Do the best you can . . . enjoy the present . . . rest satisfied with what you have.
  • However wretched a fellow-mortal may be, he is still a member of our common species.
  • Human society is like an arch, kept from falling by the mutual pressure of its parts
  • To want simply what is enough nowadays suggests to people primitiveness and squalor.
  • He grieves more than is necessary who grieves before any cause for sorrow has arisen.
  • It is by the benefit of letters that absent friends are in a manner brought together.
  • Light cares speak, great ones are speechless.
  • No man finds it difficult to return to nature except the man who has deserted nature.
  • No one can long hide behind a mask; the pretense soon lapses into the true character.
  • The artist finds a greater pleasure in painting than in having completed the picture.
  • True happiness is…to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.
  • We often want one thing and pray for another, not telling the truth even to the gods.
  • Certain laws have not been written, but they are more fixed than all the written laws.
  • Demand not that I am the equal of the greatest, only that I am better than the wicked.
  • He is greedy of life who is not willing to die when the world is perishing around him.
  • It does not matter how many books you have, but how good the books are which you have.
  • It is not the man who has too little that is poor, but the one who hankers after more.
  • One who’s our friend is fond of us; one who’s fond of us isn’t necessarily our friend.
  • People pay the doctor for his trouble; for his kindness they still remain in his debt.
  • Those whom fortune has never favored are more joyful than those whom she has deserted.
  • To preserve the life of citizens, is the greatest virtue in the father of his country.
  • What progress have I made? I am beginning to be my own friend. That is progress indeed
  • A man who has taken your time recognises no debt; yet it is the one he can never repay.
  • I do not distinguish by the eye, but by the mind, which is the proper judge of the man.
  • Life’s like a play; it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.
  • On him does death lie heavily, who, but too well known to all, dies to himself unknown.
  • The first proof of a well-ordered mind is to be able to pause and linger within itself.
  • There’s one blessing only, the source and cornerstone of beatitude: confidence in self.
  • To be able to endure odium is the first art to be learned by those who aspire to power.
  • A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.
  • If we desire to judge justly, we must persuade ourselves that none of us is without sin.
  • Let him that hath done the good office conceal it; let him that received it disclose it.
  • Life is like a play: it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.
  • Many shed tears merely for show, and have dry eyes when no one’s around to observe them.
  • Most people fancy themselves innocent of those crimes of which they cannot be convicted.
  • That day which you fear as being the end of all things is the birthday of your eternity.
  • To strive with an equal is dangerous; with a superior, mad; with an inferior, degrading.
  • What is more insane than to vent on senseless things the anger that is felt towards men?
  • Why do I not seek some real good; one which I could feel, not one which I could display?
  • A hungry people listens not to reason, not cares for justice, nor is bent by any prayers.
  • For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them
  • The man who while he gives thinks of what he will get in return, deserves to be deceived.
  • You cannot, I repeat, successfully acquire it and preserve your modesty at the same time.
  • Let the man, who would be grateful, think of repaying a kindness, even while receiving it.
  • The highest duty and the highest proof of wisdom – that deed and word should be in accord.
  • The swiftness of time is infinite, as is still more evident when we look back on the past.
  • To give and to lose is nothing; but to lose and to give still is the part of a great mind.
  • We are all sinful. Therefore whatever we blame in another we shall find in our own bosoms.
  • What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more.
  • What does reason demand of a man? A very easy thing-to live in accord with his own nature.
  • A benefit consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.
  • Dangerous is wrath concealed. Hatred proclaimed doth lose its chance of wreaking vengeance.
  • It is the practice of the multitude to bark at eminent men, as little dogs do at strangers.
  • Success is not greedy, as people think, but insignificant. That is why it satisfies nobody.
  • The velocity with which time flies is infinite, as is most apparent to those who look back.
  • Whereas a prolonged life is not necessarily better, a prolonged death is necessarily worse.
  • Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.
  • Death falls heavily on that man who, known too well to others, dies in ignorance of himself.
  • Everything is the product of one universal creative effort. There is nothing dead in Nature.
  • Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.
  • Hang on to your youthful enthusiasms — you’ll be able to use them better when you’re older.
  • It is a tedious thing to be always beginning life; they live badly who always begin to live.
  • Let him who has granted a favour speak not of it; let him who has received one, proclaim it.
  • Many person might have achieved wisdom had they not supposed that they already possessed it.
  • The greatest hindrance to living is expectancy, which depends upon tomorrow and wastes today
  • There is nothing which persevering effort and unceasing and diligent care cannot accomplish.
  • Believe me, that was a happy age, before the days of architects, before the days of builders.
  • Concealed anger is to be feared; but hatred openly manifested destroys its chance of revenge.
  • If thou wishest to get rid of thy evil propensities, thou must keep far from evil companions.
  • It is difficult to bring people to goodness with lessons, but it is easy to do so by example.
  • One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.
  • Philosophy does not regard pedigree, she received Plato not as a noble, but she made him one.
  • That which we are not permitted to have we delight in; that which we can have is disregarded.
  • Desultory reading is delightful, but to be beneficial, our reading must be carefully directed.
  • He invites the commission of a crime who does not forbid it, when it is in his power to do so.
  • It is expedient for the victor to wish for peace restored; for the vanquished it is necessary.
  • May be is very well, but Must is the master. It is my duty to show justice without recompense.
  • Refuse to let the thought of death bother you: nothing is grim when we have escaped that fear.
  • There are a few men whom slavery holds fast, but there are many more who hold fast to slavery.
  • What nature requires is obtainable, and within easy reach. It is for the superfluous we sweat.
  • Whatever is to make us better and happy God has placed either openly before us or close to us.
  • It’s the great soul that surrenders itself to fate, but a puny degenerate thing that struggles.
  • When thou hast profited so much that thou respectest even thyself, thou mayst let go thy tutor.
  • Wisdom teaches us to do, as well as to talk; and to make our words and actions all of a colour.
  • You find in some a sort of graceless modesty, that makes them ashamed to requite an obligation.
  • Death: There’s nothing bad about it at all except the thing that comes before it-the fear of it.
  • He shows a greater mind who does not restrain his laughter, than he who does not deny his tears.
  • It is sweet to mingle tears with tears; Griefs, where they wound in solitude, Wound more deeply.
  • There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living; there is nothing harder to learn.
  • A good person dyes events with his own color . . . and turns whatever happens to his own benefit.
  • It is the constant fault and inseparable evil quality of ambition, that it never looks behind it.
  • It makes a great deal of difference whether one wills not to sin or has not the knowledge to sin.
  • Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.
  • The proper amount of wealth is that which neither descends to poverty nor is far distant from it.
  • A man can refrain from wanting what he has not and cheerfully make the best of a bird in the hand.
  • Choose as a guide one whom you will admire more when you see him act than when you hear him speak.
  • No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself
  • The best way to do good to ourselves is to do it to others; the right way to gather is to scatter.
  • There is no evil that does not offer inducements. Vices tempt you by the rewards which they offer.
  • These individulas have riches just as we say that we ‘have a fever,’ when really the fever has us.
  • What difference does it make, after all, what your position in life is if you dislike it yourself?
  • No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.
  • Tranqility is a certain quality of mind, which no condition or fortune can either exalt or depress.
  • We ought to take outdoor walks, to refresh and raise our spirits by deep breathing in the open air.
  • All we see and admire today will burn in the universal fire that ushers in a new, just, happy world.
  • He who would arrive at the appointed end must follow a single road and not wander through many ways.
  • If you don’t know, ask. You will be a fool for the moment, but a wise man for the rest of your life.
  • Let tears flow of their own accord; their flowing is not inconsistent with inward peace and harmony.
  • The display of grief makes more demands than grief itself. How few men are sad in their own company.
  • The pleasures of the palate deal with us like Egyptian thieves who strangle those whom they embrace.
  • There is no greater punishment of wickedness that that it is dissatisfied with itself and its deeds.
  • The whole of life is nothing but a journey to death.
  • We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end to them.
  • What a great blessing is a friend with a heart so trusty you may safely bury all your secrets in it.
  • You must know for which harbor you are headed, if you are to catch the right wind to take you there.
  • Health is the soul that animates all the enjoyments of life, which fade and are tasteless without it.
  • Many men would have arrived at wisdom had they not believed themselves to have arrived there already.
  • No action will be considered blameless, unless the will was so, for by the will the act was dictated.
  • Freedom can’t be bought for nothing. If you hold her precious, you must hold all else of little worth.
  • Nobody will keep the thing he hears to himself, and nobody will repeat just what he hears and no more.
  • Refrain from following the example of those whose craving is for attention, not their own improvement.
  • There are no greater wretches in the world than many of those whom people in general take to be happy.
  • There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.
  • The mind should be allowed some relaxation, that it may return to its work all the better for the rest.
  • It is never too late to turn from the errors of our ways: He who repents of his sins is almost innocent.
  • Just where death is expecting you is something we cannot know; so, for your part, expect him everywhere.
  • Shall I tell you what philosophy holds out to humanity? Counsel…You are called in to help the unhappy.
  • Such is the blindness, nay the insanity of mankind, that some men are driven to death by the fear of it.
  • You have to persevere and fortify your pertinacity until the will to good becomes a disposition to good.
  • For men in a state of freedom had thatch for their shelter, while slavery dwells beneath marble and gold.
  • For what else is Nature but God and the Divine Reason that pervades the whole universe and all its parts.
  • Fortune’s not content with knocking a man down; she sends him spinning head over heels, crash upon crash.
  • The important thing about a problem is not its solution, but the strength we gain in finding the solution
  • There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.
  • The man who does something under orders is not unhappy; he is unhappy who does something against his will.
  • We are born subjects, and to obey God is perfect liberty. He that does this shall be free, safe and happy.
  • What’s the good of dragging up sufferings which are over, of being unhappy now just because you were then.
  • A dwarf is small even if he stands on a mountain; a colossus keeps his height, even if he stands in a well.
  • A great step towards independence is a good-humored stomach, one that is willing to endure rough treatment.
  • But life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.
  • He, who decides a case without hearing the other side, though he decides justly, cannot be considered just.
  • We sought therefore to amend our will, and not to suffer it through despite to languish long time in error.
  • The state of that man’s mind who feels too intense an interest as to future events, must be most deplorable.
  • We should conduct ourselves not as if we ought to live for the body, but as if we could not live without it.
  • Consider, when you are enraged at any one, what you would probably think if he should die during the dispute.
  • Dissembling profiteth nothing; a feigned countenance, and slightly forged externally, deceiveth but very few.
  • To things which you bear with impatience you should accustom yourself, and, by habit you will bear them well.
  • True wisdom consists in not departing from nature and in molding our conduct according to her laws and model.
  • With parsimony a little is sufficient; without it nothing is sufficient; but frugality makes a poor man rich.
  • A disease is farther on the road to being cured when it breaks forth from concealment and manifests its power.
  • dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed,
  • Eternal law has arranged nothing better than this, that it has given us one way in to life, but many ways out.
  • Poverty with joy isn’t poverty at all. The poor man is not one who has little, but one who hankers after more.
  • can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is
  • Hold fast then to this sound and wholesome rule of life; indulge the body only as far as is needful for health.
  • It is a denial of justice not to stretch out a helping hand to the fallen that is the common right of humanity.
  • The good things of prosperity are to be wished; but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.
  • The primary sign of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company
  • Unfamiliarity lends weight to misfortune, and there was never a man whose grief was not heightened by surprise.
  • errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum: ‘to err is human, but to persist (in the mistake) is diabolical.
  • Hesitation is the best cure for anger. The first blows of anger are heavy, but if it waits, it will think again.
  • It’s all in your headJ you have the power to make things seem hard or easy or even amusing. The choice is yours.
  • Nature does not turn out her work according to a single pattern; she prides herself upon her power of variation.
  • Our Creator shall continue to dwell above the sky, and that is where those on earth will end their thanksgiving.
  • Reason wishes that the judgement it gives be just; anger wishes that the judgement it has given seem to be just.
  • The things that are essential are acquired with little bother; it is the luxuries that call for toil and effort.
  • Anger, though concealed, is betrayed by the countenance. ?That anger is not warrantable which hath seen two suns.
  • Before old age I took care to live well; in old age I take care to die well; but to die well is to die willingly.
  • He who has injured thee was either stronger or weaker than thee. If weaker, spare him; if stronger, spare thyself.
  • If you are wise, You will mingle one thing with the other-Not hoping without doubt; Not doubting without hope.
  • It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult
  • Those who pass their lives in foreign travel find they contract many ties of hospitality, but form no friendships.
  • Freedom can’t be kept for nothing. If you set a high value on liberty, you must set a low value on everything else.
  • When God has once begun to throw down the prosperous, He overthrows them altogether: such is the end of the mighty.
  • Diligence is a very great help even to a mediocre intelligence. -Diligentia maximum etiam mediocris ingeni subsidium
  • To be feared is to fear. No one has been able to strike terror into others and at the same time enjoy peace of mind.
  • When an author is too meticulous about his style, you may presume that his mind is frivolous and his content flimsy.
  • Do you desire not to be angry? Be not inquisitive. He who inquires what is said of him only works out his own misery.
  • He that by harshness of nature rules his family with an iron hand is as truly a tyrant as he who misgoverns a nation.
  • I persist on praising not the life I lead, but that which I ought to lead. I follow it at a mighty distance, crawling
  • If you live according to nature, you never will be poor; if according to the world’s caprice, you will never be rich.
  • Men trust their eyes rather than their ears; the road by precept is long and tedious, by example short and effectual.
  • The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man. It is more powerful than external circumstances.
  • What others think of us would be of little moment did it not, when known, so deeply tinge what we think of ourselves.
  • Who shrinks from knowledge of his calamities but aggravates his fear; troubles half seen, shall torture all the more.
  • No man is born wise; but wisdom and virtue require a tutor; though we can easily learn to be vicious without a master.
  • There has not been any great talent without an element of madness. -Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit
  • We have lost morals, justice, honor, piety and faith, and that sense of shame which, once lost, can never be restored.
  • If sensuality were happiness, beasts were happier than men; but human felicity is lodged in the soul, not in the flesh.
  • It is dishonorable to say one thing and think another; how much more dishonorable to write one thing and think another.
  • It‚Äôs in the very trickery that it pleases me. But show me how the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein.
  • Men can be divided into 2 groups: one that goes ahead and achieves something, and one that comes after and criticizes.
  • Why will no man confess his faults? Because he continues to indulge in them; a man cannot tell his dream till he wakes.
  • Nothing is so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness it is to be expecting evil before it comes.
  • Virtue is that perfect good, which is the complement of a happy life; the only immortal thing that belongs to mortality.
  • It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.
  • Let us ask what is best – not what is customary. Let us love temperance – let us be just – let us refrain from bloodshed.
  • The most imperious masters over their own servants are at the same time the most abject slaves to the servants of others.
  • Why does no one confess his sins? Because he is yet in them. It is for a man who has awoke from sleep to tell his dreams.
  • Sadness usually results from one of the following causes either when a man does not succeed, or is ashamed of his success.
  • We are more easily led part by part to an understanding of the whole. -Facilius per partes in cognitionem totius adducimur
  • Epileptics know by signs when attacks are imminent and take precautions accordingly; we must do the same in regard to anger
  • If you expect the wise man to be as angry as the baseness of crimes requires, then he must not only be angry but go insane.
  • If you live in harmony with nature you will never be poor; if you live according what others think, you will never be rich.
  • In whatever direction you turn, you will see God coming to meet you; nothing is void of him, he himself fills all his work.
  • It is a world of mischief that may be done by a single example of avarice or luxury. One voluptuous palate makes many more.
  • Remember that pain has this most excellent quality. If prolonged it cannot be severe, and if severe it cannot be prolonged.
  • The mind is a matter over every kind of fortune; itself acts in both ways, being the cause of its own happiness and misery.
  • Epicurus says that you should rather have regard to the company with whom you eat and drink, than to what you eat and drink.
  • It is not how many books thou hast, but how good; careful reading profiteth, while that which is full of variety delighteth.
  • Misfortunes, in fine, cannot be avoided; but they may be sweetened, if not overcome, and our lives made happy by philosophy.
  • When one has lost a friend one’s eyes should be neither dry nor streaming. Tears, yes, there should be, but not lamentation.
  • A consciousness of wrongdoing is the first step to salvation…you have to catch yourself doing it before you can correct it.
  • If wisdom were offered me with this restriction, that I should keep it close and not communicate it, I would refuse the gift.
  • It is safer to offend certain men than it is to oblige them; for as proof that they owe nothing they seek recourse in hatred.
  • It takes the whole of life to learn how to live, and – even more surprising – it takes the whole of life to learn how to die.
  • Let us cherish and love old age; for it is full of pleasure, if you know how to use it. The best morsel is reserved for last.
  • Principles are like seeds; they are little things which do much good, if the mind that receives them has the right attitudes.
  • To lose a friend is the greatest of all evils, but endeavour rather to rejoice that you possessed him than to mourn his loss.
  • Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.
  • The philosopher: he alone knows how to live for himself. He is the one, in fact, who knows the fundamental thing: how to live.
  • There is no benefit so large that malignity will not lessen it; none so narrow that a good interpretation will not enlarge it.
  • What must be shall be; and that which is a necessity to him that struggles, is little more than choice to him that is willing.
  • Let us fight the battle-retreat from the things that attract us and rouse ourselves to meet the things that actually attack us.
  • Not a soul takes thought how well he may live- only how long: yet a good life might be everybody’s, a long one can be nobody’s.
  • Nothing is more disgraceful than that an old man should have nothing to show to prove that he has lived long, except his years.
  • Philosophy alone makes the mind invincible, and places us out of the reach of fortune, so that all her arrows fall short of us.
  • The first petition that we are to make to Almighty God is for a good conscience, the next for health of mind, and then of body.
  • Truth will never be tedious unto him that travelleth in the secrets of nature; there is nothing but falsehood that glutteth us.
  • What view is one likely to take of the state of a person’s mind when his speech is wild and incoherent and knows no constraint?
  • There in no one more unfortunate than the man who has never been unfortunate. for it has never been in his power to try himself.
  • Leisure without literature is death, or rather the burial of a living man.
  • Many men provoke others to overreach them by excessive suspicion; their extraordinary distrust in some sort justifies the deceit.
  • Virtue depends partly upon training and partly upon practice; you must learn first, and then strengthen your learning by actions.
  • Let not the enjoyment of pleasures now within your grasp, be carried to such excess as to incapacitate you from future repetition.
  • Our life’s a moment and less than a moment, but even this mite nature has mockingly humored with some appearance of a longer span.
  • Plato once wanted to punish one of his slaves and asked his nephew to do the actual whipping for he himself did not own his anger.
  • To be always fortunate, and to pass through life with a soul that has never known sorrow, is to be ignorant of one half of nature.
  • Be not too hasty either with praise or blame; speak always as though you were giving evidence before the judgement-seat of the Gods.
  • Let wickedness escape as it may at the bar, it never fails of doing justice upon itself; for every guilty person is his own hangman.
  • Life is never incomplete if it is an honorable one. At whatever point you leave life, if you leave it in the right way, it is whole.
  • There is nothing more despicable than an old man who has no other proof than his age to offer of his having lived long in the world.
  • We are more wicked together than separately. If you are forced to be in a crowd, then most of all you should withdraw into yourself.
  • If a man does not know to what port he is steering, no wind is favorable to him.
  • Conversation has a kind of charm about it, an insuating and insidious something that elicits secrets from us just like love or liquor.
  • Dead, we become the lumber of the world, And to that mass of matter shall be swept Where things destroyed with things unborn are kept.
  • While the fates permit, live happily; life speeds on with hurried step, and with winged days the wheel of the headlong year is turned.
  • As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit
  • The body is not a permanent dwelling, but a sort of inn which is to be left behind when one perceives that one is a burden to the host.
  • The place one’s in, though, doesn’t make any contribution to peace of mind: it’s the spirit that makes everything agreeable to oneself.
  • There is the need for someone against which our characters can measure themselves. Without a ruler, you won’t make the crooked straight.
  • Who is everywhere is nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends.
  • Every day, therefore, should be regulated as if it were the one that brings up the rear, the one that rounds out and completes our lives.
  • He who has fostered the sweet poison of love by fondling it, finds it too late to refuse the yoke which he has of his own accord assumed.
  • It is the mind that makes us rich and happy, in what condition soever we are, and money signifies no more to it than it does to the gods.
  • It’s unknown the place and uncertain the time where death awaits you; thus you must expect death to find you, every time, at every place.
  • Without an adversary prowess shrivels. We see how great and efficient it really is only when it shows by endurance what it is capable of.
  • Four things does a reckless man gain who covets his neighbor’s wife – demerit, an uncomfortable bed, thirdly, punishment, and lastly, hell.
  • Greatness stands upon a precipice, and if prosperity carries a man never so little beyond his poise, it overbears and dashes him to pieces.
  • It is easier to exclude harmful passions than to rule them, and to deny them admittance than to control them after they have been admitted.
  • Great is he who enjoys his earthenware as if it were plate, and not less great is the man to whom all his plate is no more that earthenware.
  • He who comes to a conclusion when the other side is unheard, may have been just in his conclusion, but yet has not been just in his conduct.
  • If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.
  • Philosophy is the art and law of life, and it teaches us what to do in all cases, and, like good marksmen, to hit the white at any distance.
  • It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness. As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
  • It takes the whole of life to learn how to live, and–what will perhaps make you wonder more–it takes the whole of life to learn how to die.
  • Lightning will wreck its displeasures not only upon pillars, trees, and sheep, but upon altars and temples, and let the sacrilegious go free.
  • Although a man has so well purged his mind that nothing can trouble or deceive him any more, yet he reached his present innocence through sin.
  • The origin of all mankind was the same; it is only a clear and good conscience that makes a man noble, for that is derived from heaven itself.
  • He who does not want to die should not want to live. For life is tendered to us with the proviso of death. Life is the way to this destination.
  • The many speak highly of you, but have you really any grounds for satisfaction with yourself if you are the kind of person the many understand?
  • The whole duty of man is embraced in the two principles of abstinence and patience: temperance in prosperity, and patient courage in adversity.
  • Watch over yourself. Be your own accuser, then your judge; ask yourself grace sometimes, and, if there is need, impose upon yourself some pain.
  • We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.
  • We should live as if we were in public view, and think, too, as if someone could peer into the inmost recesses of our hearts-which someone can!
  • It is to the interest of the commonwealth of mankind that there should be someone who is unconquered, someone against whom fortune has no power.
  • It is another’s fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.
  • One must take all one’s life to learn how to leave, and what will perhaps make you wonder more, one must take all one’s life to learn how to die.
  • Freedom is not being a slave to any circumstance, to any constraint, to any chance; it means compelling Fortune to enter the lists on equal terms.
  • Nature does not reveal all her secrets at once. We imagine we are initiated in her mysteries: we are, as yet, but hanging around her outer courts.
  • This is the law of benefits between men; the one ought to forget at once what was given, and the other ought never to forget what he has received.
  • We are at best but stewards of what we falsely call our own; yet avarice is so insatiable that it is not in the power of liberality to content it.
  • The acquisition of riches has been to many not an end to their miseries, but a change in them: The fault is not in the riches, but the disposition.
  • Precepts or maxims are of great weight; and a few useful ones at hand do more toward a happy life than whole volumes that we know not where to find.
  • You must linger among a limited number of master-thinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind.
  • That poverty is no disaster is understood by everyone who has not yet succumbed to the madness of greed and luxury that turns everything topsy-turvy.
  • We should have a bond of sympathy for all sentient beings, knowing that only the depraved and base take pleasure in the sight of blood and suffering.
  • Nothing becomes so offensive so quickly as grief. When fresh it finds someone to console it, but when it becomes chronic, it is ridiculed and rightly.
  • There is none made so great, but he may both need the help and service, and stand in fear of the power and unkindness, even of the meanest of mortals.
  • You want to live-but do you know how to live? You are scared of dying-and, tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead?
  • Successful crime is dignified with the name of virtue; the good become the slaves of the wicked; might makes right; fear silences the power of the law.
  • The declaration of love may come sooner than expected. Take time before you reciprocate as this may simply be a statement of what they expect from you.
  • A woman is not beautiful when her ankle or arm wins compliments, but when her total appearance diverts admiration from the individual parts of her body.
  • Every one has time if he likes. Business runs after nobody: people cling to it of their own free will and think that to be busy is a proof of happiness.
  • Study rather to fill your mind than your coffers; knowing that gold and silver were originally mingled with dirt, until avarice or ambition parted them.
  • Such as the chain of causes we call Fate, such is the chain of wishes: one links on to another; the whole man is bound in the chain of wishing for ever.
  • Virtue hath no virtue if it be not impugned; then appeareth how great it is, of what value and power it is, when by patience it approveth what it works.
  • All my life I have been seeking to climb out of the pit of my besetting sins and I cannot do it and I never will unless a hand is let down to draw me up.
  • There is nothing so disagreeable, that a patient mind can not find some solace for it.
  • A king is he who has laid fear aside and the base longings of an evil heart; whom ambition unrestrained and the fickle favor of the reckless mob move not.
  • Happy is the man who can endure the highest and lowest fortune. He who has endured such vicissitudes with equanimity has deprived misfortune of its power.
  • Men trust rather to their eyes than to their ears; the effect of precepts is therefore slow and tedious, whilst that of examples is summary and effectual.
  • Most men ebb and flow in wretchedness between the fear of death and the hardship of life; they are unwilling to live, and yet they do not know how to die.
  • Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man’s power to live long.
  • The spirit in which a thing is given determines that in which the debt is acknowledged; it’s the intention, not the face-value of the gift, that’s weighed.
  • Now we are not merely to stick knowledge on to the soul: we must incorporate it into her; the soul should not be sprinkled with knowledge but steeped in it.
  • A large library is apt to distract rather than to instruct the learner; it is much better to be confined to a few authors than to wander at random over many.
  • Nothing is so false as human life, nothing so treacherous. God knows no one would have accepted it as a gift, if it had not been given without our knowledge.
  • Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well-ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company.
  • Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come . . . . Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate.
  • No man can live happily who regards himself alone, who turns everything to his own advantage. Thou must live for another, if thou wishest to live for thyself.
  • On entering a temple we assume all signs of reverence. How much more reverent then should we be before the heavenly bodies, the stars, the very nature of God!
  • I will have a care of being a slave to myself, for it is a perpetual, a shameful, and the heaviest of all servitudes; and this may be done by moderate desires.
  • Men do not care how nobly they live, but only for how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man’s power to live long.
  • Whatever we owe, it is our part to find where to pay it, and to do it without asking, too; for whether the creditor be good or bad, the debt is still the same.
  • He that lays down precepts for the governing of our lives, and moderating our passions, obliges humanity not only in the present, but in all future generations.
  • There is as much greatness of mind in the owning of a good turn as in the doing of it; and we must no more force a requital out of season than be wanting in it.
  • No one can be happy who has been thrust outside the pale of truth. And there are two ways that one can be removed from this realm: by lying, or by being lied to.
  • Consult your friend on all things, especially on those which respect yourself. His counsel may then be useful where your own self-love might impair your judgment.
  • We are members of one great body. Nature planted in us a mutual love, and fitted us for a social life. We must consider that we were born for the good of the whole.
  • The intellect must not be kept at consistent tension, but diverted by pastimes…. The mind must have relaxation, and will rise stronger and keener after recreation.
  • Throughout the whole of life one must continue to learn to live and what will amaze you even more, throughout life you must learn to die. Seneca (Roman philosopher)
  • What should a wise person do when given a blow? Same as Cato when he was attacked; not fire up or revenge the insult., or even return the blow, but simply ignore it.
  • How many discoveries are reserved for the ages to come when our memory shall be no more, for this world of ours contains matter for investigation for all generations.
  • Money does all things for reward. Some are pious and honest as long as they thrive upon it, but if the devil himself gives better wages, they soon change their party.
  • The man who spends his time choosing one resort after another in a hunt for peace and quiet will in every place he visits find something to prevent him from relaxing.
  • He that does good to another does good also to himself, not only in the consequence but in the very act. For the consciousness of well-doing is in itself ample reward.
  • Life is divided into three periods: that which has been, that which is, that which will be. Of these the present is short, the future is doubtful, the past is certain.
  • If wisdom were offered me with the proviso that I should keep it shut up and refrain from declaring it, I should refuse. There’s no delight in owning anything unshared.
  • The law of the pleasure in having done anything for another is, that the one almost immediately forgets having given, and the other remembers eternally having received.
  • We are mad, not only individually, but nationally. We check manslaughter and isolated murders; but what of war and the much-vaunted crime of slaughtering whole peoples?
  • It goes far toward making a man faithful to let him understand that you think him so; and he that does but suspect I will deceive him, gives me a sort of right to do so.
  • The voice of flattery affects us after it has ceased, just as after a concert men find some agreeable air ringing in their ears to the exclusion of all serious business.
  • It is the superfluous things for which men sweat, – superfluous things that wear our togas theadbare, that force us to grow old in camp, that dash us upon foreign shores.
  • Reasons for anxiety will never be lacking, whether born of prosperity or of wretchedness; life pushes on in a succession of engrossments. We shall always pray for leisure.
  • The customs of that most criminal nation (Israel) have gained such strength that they have now been received in all lands. The conquered have given laws to the conquerors.
  • It is the property of a great and good mind to covet, not the fruit of good deeds, but good deeds themselves, and to seek for a good man even after having met with bad men.
  • What madness it is for a man to starve himself to enrich his heir, and so turn a friend into an enemy! For his joy at your death will be proportioned to what you leave him.
  • During difficult times and after mistakes and failures it is helpful to remember … Oftentimes calamity turns to our advantage and great ruins make way for greater glories.
  • Human nature is so constituted that insults sink deeper than kindnesses; the remembrance of the latter soon passes away, while that of the former is treasured in the memory.
  • I know that nothing comes to pass but what God appoints; our fate is decreed, and things do not happen by chance, but every man’s portion of joy and sorrow is predetermined.
  • Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.
  • Happy he whoe’er, content with the common lot, with safe breeze hugs the shore, and, fearing to trust his skiff to the wider sea, with unambitious oar keeps close to the land.
  • I have withdrawn not only from men, but from affairs, especially my own affairs; I am working for later generations, writing down some ideas that may be of assistance to them.
  • Who-only let him be a man and intent upon honor-is not eager for the honorable ordeal and prompt to assume perilous duties? To what energetic man is not idleness a punishment?
  • It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. … The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.
  • It is within the power of every man to live his life nobly, but of no man to live forever. Yet so many of us hope that life will go on forever, and so few aspire to live nobly.
  • The wise man then followed a simple way of life-which is hardly surprising when you consider how even in this modern age he seeks to be as little encumbered as he possibly can.
  • There are more people abusive to others than lie open to abuse themselves; but the humor goes round, and he that laughs at me today will have somebody to laugh at him tomorrow.
  • We pray for trifles without so much as a thought of the greatest blessings; and we are not ashamed many times, to ask God for that which we should blush to own to our neighbor.
  • Just as I shall select my ship when I am about to go on a voyage, or my house when I propose to take a residence, so shall I choose my death when I am about to depart from life.
  • Precepts are the rules by which we ought to square our lives. When they are contracted into sentences, they strike the affections; whereas admonition is only blowing of the coal.
  • The man who has learned to triumph over sorrow wears his miseries as though they were sacred fillets upon his brow; and nothing is so entirely admirable as a man bravely wretched.
  • The wise man lacked nothing but needed a great number of things, whereas the fool, on the other hand, needs nothing (for he does not know how to use anything) but lacks everything.
  • I have learned to be a friend to myself Great improvement this indeed Such a one can never be said to be alone for know that he who is a friend to himself is a friend to all mankind
  • The book-keeping of benefits is simple: it is all expenditure; if any one returns it, that is clear gain; if he does not return it, it is not lost, I gave it for the sake of giving.
  • Let us not seek our disease out of ourselves; ’tis in us, and planted in our bowels; and the mere fact that we do not perceive ourselves to be sick, renders us more hard to be cured.
  • Death either destroys or unhusks us. If it means liberation, better things await us when our burden s gone: if destruction, nothing at all awaits us; blessings and curses are abolished.
  • How much better to pursue a straight course and eventually reach that destination where the things that are pleasant are the things that are honorable finally become, for you, the same.
  • The great blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach; but we shut our eyes, and, like people in the dark, we fall foul upon the very thing we search for, without finding it.
  • The final hour when we cease to exist does not itself bring death; it merely of itself completes the death-process. We reach death at that moment, but we have been a long time on the way.
  • Behold a worthy sight, to which the God, turning his attention to his own work, may direct his gaze. Behold an equal thing, worthy of a God, a brave man matched in conflict with evil fortune.
  • He that visits the sick in hopes of a legacy, but is never so friendly in all other cases, I look upon him as being no better than a raven that watches a weak sheep only to peck out its eyes.
  • The true felicity of life is to be free from anxieties and pertubations; to understand and do our duties to God and man, and to enjoy the present without any serious dependence on the future.
  • Human affairs are like a chess-game: only those who do not take it seriously can be called good players. Life is like an earthen pot: only when it is shattered, does it manifest its emptiness.
  • In the meantime, cling tooth and nail to the following rule: not to give in to adversity, not to trust prosperity, and always take full note of fortune’s habit of behaving just as she pleases.
  • Nothing will ever please me, no matter how excellent or beneficial, if I must retain the knowledge of it to myself. . . . . . No good thing is pleasant to possess, without friends to share it.
  • War I abhor, and yet how sweet The sound along the marching street Of drum and fife, and I forget Wet eyes of widows, and forget Broken old mothers, and the whole Dark butchery without a soul.
  • As fate is inexorable, and not to be moved either with tears or reproaches, an excess of sorrow is as foolish as profuse laughter; while, on the other hand, not to mourn at all is insensibility.
  • True joy is a serene and sober motion; and they are miserably out so that take laughing for rejoicing; the seat of it is within, and there is no cheerfulness like the resolutions of a brave mind.
  • We are as answerable for what we give as for what we receive; nay, the misplacing of a benefit is worse than the not receiving of it; for the one is another person’s fault, but the other is mine.
  • Man’s ideal state is realized when he has fulfilled the purpose for which he is born. And what is it that reason demands of him? Something very easy-that he live in accordance with his own nature.
  • Wisdom does not show itself so much in precept as in life – in firmness of mind and a mastery of appetite. It teaches us to do as well as to talk; and to make our words and actions all of a color.
  • I am like a book, with pages that have stuck together for want of use: my mind needs unpacking and the truths stored within must be turned over from time to time, to be ready when occasion demands.
  • The stomach begs and clamors, and listens to no precepts. And yet it is not an obdurate creditor; for it is dismissed with small payment if you give it only what you owe, and not as much as you can.
  • There is no evil that does not promise inducements. Avarice promises money; luxury, a varied assortment of pleasures; ambition, a purple robe and applause. Vices tempt you by the rewards they offer.
  • But when you are looking on anyone as a friend when you do not trust him as you trust yourself, you are making a grave mistake, and have failed to grasp sufficiently the full force of true friendship.
  • Retire into yourself as much as possible. Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those whom you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one. People learn as they teach.
  • We are born to lose and to perish, to hope and to fear, to vex ourselves and others; and there is no antidote against a common calamity but virtue; for the foundation of true joy is in the conscience.
  • Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity.
  • The most miserable mortals are they that deliver themselves up to their palates, or to their lusts; the pleasure is short, and turns presently nauseous, and the end of it is either shame or repentance.
  • An action will not be right unless the will be right; for from thence is the action derived. Again, the will will not be right unless the disposition of the mind be right; for from thence comes the will.
  • Ignorant people see life as either existence or non-existence, but wise men see it beyond both existence and non-existence to something that transcends them both; this is an observation of the Middle Way.
  • Epicurus says, “gratitude is a virtue that has commonly profit annexed to it.” And where is the virtue that has not? But still the virtue is to be valued for itself, and not for the profit that attends it.
  • Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: ” Is this the condition that I feared?”
  • Ponder for a long time whether you shall admit a given person to your friendship; but when you have decided to admit him, welcome him with all your heart and soul. Speak as boldly with him as with yourself.
  • The greatest chastisement that a man may receive who hath outraged another, is to have done the outrage; and there is no man who is so rudely punished as he that is subject to the whip of his own repentance.
  • No tree becomes rooted and sturdy unless many a wind assails it. For by its very tossing it tightens its grip and plants its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those that have grown in a sunny valley.
  • What with our hooks, snares, nets, and dogs, we are at war with all living creatures, and nothing comes amiss but that which is either too cheap or too common; and all this is to gratify a fantastical palate.
  • It is only the surprise and newness of the thing which makes that misfortune terrible which by premeditation might be made easy to us. For that which some people make light by sufferance, others do by foresight.
  • Shun no toil to make yourself remarkable by some talent or other; yet do not devote yourself to one branch exclusively. Strive to get clear notions about all. Give up no science entirely; for science is but one.
  • There is this blessing, that while life has but one entrance, it has exits innumerable, and as I choose the house in which I live, the ship in which I will sail, so will I choose the time and manner of my death.
  • There is about wisdom a nobility and magnificence in the fact that she doesn’t just fall to a person’s lot, that each man owes her to his own efforts, that one doesn’t go to anyone other than oneself to find her.
  • Wisdom allows nothing to be good that will not be so forever; no man to be happy but he that needs no other happiness than what he has within himself; no man to be great or powerful that is not master of himself.
  • Rehearse death. To say this is to tell a person to rehearse his freedom. A person who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave. He is above, or at any rate, beyond the reach of, all political powers.
  • Pain, scorned by yonder gout-ridden wretch, endured by yonder dyspeptic in the midst of his dainties, borne bravely by the girl in travail. Slight thou art, if I can bear thee, short thou art if I cannot bear thee!
  • The mind is never right but when it is at peace within itself; the soul is in heaven even while it is in the flesh, if it be purged of its natural corruptions, and taken up with divine thoughts, and contemplations.
  • It is only luxury and avarice that make poverty grievous to us; for it is a very small matter that does our business, and when we have provided against cold, hunger, and thirst, all the rest is but vanity and excess.
  • He is ungrateful who denies that he has received a kindness which has been bestowed upon him; he is ungrateful who conceals it; he is ungrateful who makes no return for it; most ungrateful of all is he who forgets it.
  • Some pretend want of power to make a competent return; and you shall find in others a kind of graceless modesty, that makes a man ashamed of requiting an obligation, because it is a confession that he has received one.
  • Virtue is shut out from no one; she is open to all, accepts all, invites all, gentlemen, freedmen, slaves, kings, and exiles; she selects neither house nor fortune; she is satisfied with a human being without adjuncts.
  • I never come back home with the same moral character I went out with; something or other becomes unsettled where I had achieved internal peace; some one or other of the things I had put to flight reappears on the scene.
  • No evil is without its compensation. The less money, the less trouble; the less favor, the less envy. Even in those cases which put us out of wits, it is not the loss itself, but the estimate of the loss that troubles us.
  • A single lifetime, even though entirely devoted to the sky, would not be enough for the study of so vast a subject. A time will come when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them.
  • He that will do no good offices after a disappointment must stand still, and do just nothing at all. The plough goes on after a barren year; and while the ashes are yet warm, we raise a new house upon the ruins of a former.
  • No man esteems anything that comes to him by chance; but when it is governed by reason, it brings credit both to the giver and receiver; whereas those favors are in some sort scandalous that make a man ashamed of his patron.
  • Those things which make the infernal regions terrible, the darkness, the prison, the river of flaming fire, the judgment seat, are all a fable, with which the poets amuse themselves, and by them agitate us with vain terrors.
  • Death is the wish of some, the relief of many, and the end of all. It sets the slave at liberty, carries the banished man home, and places all mortals on the same level, insomuch that life itself were a punishment without it.
  • A man’s ability cannot possibly be of one sort and his soul of another. If his soul be well-ordered, serious and restrained, his ability also is sound and sober. Conversely, when the one degenerates, the other is contaminated.
  • The deep waters of time will flow over us: only a few men of genius will lift a head above the surface, and though doomed eventually to pass into the same silence, will fight against oblivion and for a long time hold their own.
  • It is remarkable that Providence has given us all things for our advantage near at hand; but iron, gold, and silver, being both the instruments of blood and slaughter and the price of it, nature has hidden in the bowels of the earth.
  • Precepts are like seeds; they are little things which do much good; if the mind which receives them has a disposition, it must not be doubted that his part contributes to the generation, and adds much to that which has been collected.
  • The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depend upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty.
  • Everyone rushes his life on, and suffers from a yearning for the future and a boredom with the present. But that man who devotes every hour to his own needs, who plans every day as if it were his last, neither longs for nor fears tomorrow.
  • I will govern my life and thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and read the other, for what does it signify to make anything a secret to my neighbor, when to God, who is the searcher of our hearts, all our privacies are open?
  • We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right.” “True happiness is … to enjoy the present” “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
  • That moderation which nature prescribes, which limits our desires by resources restricted to our needs, has abandoned the field; it has now come to this — that to want only what is enough is a sign both of boorishness and of utter destitution.
  • We should every night call ourselves to an account: What infirmity have I mastered today? What passions opposed?  What temptation resisted?  What virtue acquired?  Our vices will abate of themselves if they be brought every day to the shrift.
  • A man thus grounded must, whether he wills or not, necessarily be attended by constant cheerfulness and a joy that is deep and issues from deep within, since he finds delight in his own resources, and desires no joys greater than his inner joys.
  • A physician is not angry at the intemperance of a mad patient, nor does he take it ill to be railed at by a man in fever. Just so should a wise man treat all mankind, as a physician does his patient, and look upon them only as sick and extravagant.
  • Nature has made us passive, and to suffer is our lot. While we are in the flesh every man has his chain and his clog; only it is looser and lighter to one man than to another, and he is more at ease who takes it up and carries it than he who drags it.
  • As for old age, embrace and love it. It abounds with pleasure if you know how to use it. The gradually declining years are among the sweetest in a man’s life, and I maintain that, even when they have reached the extreme limit, they have their pleasure still.
  • Straightforwardness and simplicity are in keeping with goodness. The things that are essential are acquired with little bother; it is the luxuries that call for toil and effort. To want simply what is enough nowadays suggests to people primitiveness and squalor.
  • A man who examines the saddle and bridle and not the animal itself when he is out to buy a horse is a fool; similarly, only an absolute fool values a man according to his clothes, or according to his position, which after all is only something we wear like clothing.
  • True friends are the whole world to one another; and he that is a friend to himself is also a friend to mankind. Even in my studies the greatest delight I take is of imparting it to others; for there is no relish to me in the possessing of anything without a partner.
  • We haven’t time to spare to hear whether it was between Italy and Sicily that he ran into a storm or somewhere outside the world we know-when every day we’re running into our own storms, spiritual storms, and driven by vice into all the troubles that Ulysses ever knew.
  • As far as I am concerned, I know that I have lost not wealth but distractions. The body’s needs are few: it wants to be free from cold, to banish hunger and thirst with nourishment; if we long for anything more we are exerting ourselves to serve our vices, not our needs.
  • Virtue depends partly upon training and partly upon practice; you must learn first, and then strengthen your learning by action. If this be true, not only do the doctrines of wisdom help us but the precepts also, which check and banish our emotions by a sort of official decree.
  • We deliberate about the parcels of life, but not about life itself, and so we arrive all unawares at its different epochs, and have the trouble of beginning all again. And so finally it is that we do not walk as men confidently towards death, but let death come suddenly upon us.
  • Some there are that torment themselves afresh with the memory of what is past; others, again, afflict themselves with the apprehension of evils to come; and very ridiculously both – for the one does not now concern us, and the other not yet … One should count each day as a separate life.
  • To see a man fearless in dangers, untainted with lusts, happy in adversity, composed in a tumult, and laughing at all those things which are generally either coveted or feared, all men must acknowledge that this can be from nothing else but a beam of divinity that influences a mortal body.
  • A great, a good, and a right mind is a kind of divinity lodged in flesh, and may be the blessing of a slave as well as of a prince: it came from heaven, and to heaven it must return; and it is a kind of heavenly felicity, which a pure and virtuous mind enjoys, in some degree, even upon earth.
  • A good conscience fears no witness, but a guilty conscience is solicitous even in solitude. If we do nothing but what is honest, let all the world know it. But if otherwise, what does it signify to have nobody else know it, so long as I know it myself? Miserable is he who slights that witness.
  • As gratitude is a necessary, and a glorious virtue, so also it is an obvious, a cheap, and an easy one; so obvious that wherever there is life there is a place for it; so cheap, that the covetous man may be gratified without expense, and so easy that the sluggard may be so likewise without labor.
  • We must take care to live not merely a long life, but a full one; for living a long life requires only good fortune, but living a full life requires character. Long is the life that is fully lived; it is fulfilled only when the mind supplies its own good qualities and empowers itself from within.
  • The things which we hold in our hands, which we see with our eyes, and which our avarice hugs, are transitory, they may be taken from us by ill luck or by violence; but a kindness lasts even after the loss of that by means of which it was bestowed; for it is a good deed, which no violence can undo.
  • When you enter a grove peopled with ancient trees, higher than the ordinary, and shutting out the sky with their thickly inter-twined branches, do not the stately shadows of the wood, the stillness of the place, and the awful gloom of this doomed cavern then strike you with the presence of a deity?
  • It is one thing to remember, another to know. To remember is to safeguard something entrusted to the memory. But to know is to make each thing one’s own, not depend on the text and always to look back to the teacher.  “Zeno said this, Cleanthes said this.”  Let there be space between you and the book.
  • He that makes himself famous by his eloquence, justice or arms illustrates his extraction, let it be never so mean; and gives inestimable reputation to his parents. We should never have heard of Sophroniscus, but for his son, Socrates; nor of Ariosto and Gryllus, if it had not been for Xenophon and Plato.
  • I can see clothes of silk, if materials that do not hide the body, nor even one’s decency, can be called clothes. … Wretched flocks of maids labor so that the adulteress may be visible through her thin dress, so that her husband has no more acquaintance than any outsider or foreigner with his wife’s body.
  • The sovereign good of man is a mind that subjects all things to itself and is itself subject to nothing; such a man’s pleasures are modest and reserved, and it may be a question whether he goes to heaven, or heaven comes to him; for a good man is influenced by God Himself, and has a kind of divinity within him.
  • As Lucretius says: ‘Thus ever from himself doth each man flee.’ But what does he gain if he does not escape from himself? He ever follows himself and weighs upon himself as his own most burdensome companion. And so we ought to understand that what we struggle with is the fault, not of the places, but of ourselves
  • The greatest man is he who chooses right with the most invincible resolution; who resists to sorest temptation from within and without; who bears the heaviest burdens cheerfully; who is calmest in storms, and most fearless under menaces and frowns; whose reliance on truth, on virtue, and on God is most unfaltering.
  • The wise man will not pardon any crime that ought to be punished, but he will accomplish, in a nobler way, all that is sought in pardoning. He will spare some and watch over some, because of their youth, and others on account of their ignorance. His clemency will not fall short of justice, but will fulfill it perfectly.
  • If anyone says that the best life of all is to sail the sea, and then adds that I must not sail upon a sea where shipwrecks are a common occurrence and there are often sudden storms that sweep the helmsman in an adverse direction, I conclude that this man, although he lauds navigation, really forbids me to launch my ship.
  • What if a man save my life with a draught that was prepared to poison me? The providence of the issue does not at all discharge the obliquity of the intent. And the same reason holds good even in religion itself. It is not the incense, or the offering that is acceptable to God, but the purity and devotion of the worshipper.
  • We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. [We must learn to control and focus the force of our imagination on the good, bright side so it is positive and constructive helping ourselves and others, rather than let its force focus on the bad, dark side so it is negative and destructive hurting ourselves and others!]
  • We all sorely complain of the shortness of time, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives are either spent in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them.
  • Just as so many rivers, so many showers of rain from above, so many medicinal springs do not alter the taste of the sea, so the pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man. For it maintains its balance, and over all that happens it throws its own complexion, because it is more powerful than external circumstances.
  • Solitude and company may be allowed to take their turns: the one creates in us the love of mankind, the other that of ourselves; solitude relieves us when we are sick of company, and conversation when we are weary of being alone, so that the one cures the other. There is no man so miserable as he that is at a loss how to use his time
  • All I desire is, that my poverty may not be a burden to myself, or make me so to others; and that is the best state of fortune that is neither directly necessitous nor far from it. A mediocrity of fortune, with gentleness of mind, will preserve us from fear or envy; which is a desirable condition; for no man wants power to do mischief.
  • Cling tooth and nail to the following rule: Not to give in to adversity, never to trust prosperity, and always to take full note of fortune’s habit of behaving just as she pleases, treating her as if she were actually going to do everything it is in her power to do. Whatever you have been expecting for some time comes as less of a shock.
  • If ever you come upon a grove of ancient trees which have grown to an exceptional height, shutting out a view of sky by a veil of pleached and intertwining branches, then the loftiness of the forest, the seclusion of the spot and your marvel at the thick unbroken shade in the midst of the open spaces, will prove to you the presence of deity.
  • There are many things akin to highest deity that are still obscure. Some may be too subtle for our powers of comprehension, others imperceptible to us because such exalted majesty conceals itself in the holiest part of its sanctuary, forbidding access to any power save that of the spirit. How many heavenly bodies revolve unseen by human eye!
  • God has not revealed all things to man and has entrusted us with but a fragment of His mighty work. But He who directs all things, who has established and laid the foundation of the world, who has clothed Himself with Creation, He is greater and better than that which He has wrought. Hidden from our eyes, He can only be reached by the spirit.
  • It is easy enough to arouse in a listener a desire for what is honorable; for in every one of us nature has laid the foundations or sown the seeds of the virtues. We are born to them all, all of us, and when a person comes along with the necessary stimulus, then those qualities of the personality are awakened, so to speak, from their slumber.
  • It passes in the world for greatness of mind, to be perpetually giving and loading people with bounties; but it is one thing to know how to give and another thing not to know how to keep. Give me a heart that is easy and open, but I will have no holes in it; let it be bountiful with judgment, but I will have nothing run out of it I know not how.
  • Our minds must relax: they will rise better and keener after rest. Just as you must not force fertile farmland, as uninterrupted productivity will soon exhaust it, so constant effort will sap our mental vigour, while a short period of rest and relaxation will restore our powers. Unremitting effort leads to a kind of mental dullness and lethargy.
  • The time will come when diligent research over periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden…Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memories of us will have been effaced. Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has something for every age to investigate. nature does not reveal her mysteries once and for all.
  • It is essential to make oneself used to putting up with a little. Even the wealthy and the well provided are continually met and frustrated by difficult times and situations. It is in no man’s power to have whatever he wants; but he has it in his power not to wish for what he hasn’t got, and cheerfully make the most of the things that do come his way.
  • Upon occasion we should go as far as intoxication…. Drink washes cares away, stirs the mind from its lowest depths…. But in liberty moderation is wholesome, and so it is in wine…. We ought not indulge too often, for fear the mind contract a bad habit, yet it is right to draw it toward elation and release and to banish dull sobriety for a little.
  • If true, the Pythagorean principles as to abstain from flesh, foster innocence; if ill-founded they at least teach us frugality, and what loss have you in losing your cruelty? It merely deprives you of the food of lions and vultures…let us ask what is best – not what is customary. Let us love temperance – let us be just – let us refrain from bloodshed.
  • This is the difference between us Romans and the Etruscans: We believe that lightning is caused by clouds colliding, whereas they believe that clouds collide in order to create lightning. Since they attribute everything to gods, they are led to believe not that events have a meaning because they have happened, but that they happen in order to express a meaning.
  • We ought not to confine ourselves either to writing or to reading; the one, continuous writing, will cast a gloom over our strength, and exhaust it; the other will make our strength flabby and watery. It is better to have recourse to them alternately, and to blend one with the other, so that the fruits of one’s reading may be reduced to concrete form by the pen.
  • There is nothing that Nature has made necessary which is more easy than death; we are longer a-coming into the world than going out of it; and there is not any minute of our lives wherein we may not reasonably expect it. Nay, it is but a momen’ts work, the parting of soul and body. What a shame is it then to stand in fear of anything so long that is over so soon!
  • Philosophy takes as her aim the state of happiness…she shows us what are real and what are only apparent evils. She strips men’s minds of empty thinking, bestows a greatness that is solid and administers a check to greatness where it is puffed up and all an empty show; she sees that we are left no doubt about the difference between what is great and what is bloated.
  • It was the saying of a great man, that if we could trace our descents, we should find all slaves to come from princes, and all princes from slaves; and fortune has turned all things topsy-turvy in a long series of revolutions; beside, for a man to spend his life in pursuit of a title, that serves only when he dies to furnish out an epitaph, is below a wise man’s business.
  • The evil which assails us is not in the localities we inhabit but in ourselves. We lack strength to endure the least task, being incapable of suffering pain, powerless to enjoy pleasure, impatient with everything. How many invoke death when, after having tried every sort of change, they find themselves reverting to the same sensations, unable to discover any new experience.
  • As the mother’s womb holds us for ten months, making us ready, not for the womb itself, but for life, just so, through our lives, we are making ourselves ready for another birth…Therefore look forward without fear to that appointed hour- the last hour of the body, but not of the soul…That day, which you fear as being the end of all things, is the birthday of your eternity.
  • There is nothing that we can properly call our own but our time, and yet everybody fools us out of it who has a mind to do it. If a man borrows a paltry sum of money, there must needs be bonds and securities, and every common civility is presently charged upon account. But he who has my time thinks he owes me nothing for it, though it be a debt that gratitude itself can never repay.
  • Finally, everybody agrees that no one pursuit can be successfully followed by a man who is preoccupied with many things-eloquence cannot, nor the liberal studies-since the mind, when distracted, takes in nothing very deeply, but rejects everything that is, as it were, crammed into it. There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living: there is nothing that is harder to learn.
  • True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.
  • It is a common thing to screw up justice to the pitch of an injury. A man may be over-righteous, and why not over-grateful, too? There is a mischievous excess that borders so close upon ingratitude that it is no easy matter to distinguish the one from the other; but, in regard that there is good-will in the bottom of it, however distempered; for it is effectually but kindness out of the wits.
  • What difference does it make how much there is laid away in a man’s safe or in his barns, how many head of stock he grazes or how much capital he puts out at interest, if he is always after what is another’s and only counts what he has yet to get, never what he has already. You ask what is the proper limit to a person’s wealth? First, having what is essential, and second, having what is enough.
  • We are so vain as to set the highest value upon those things to which nature has assigned the lowest place. What can be more coarse and rude in the mind than the precious metals, or more slavish and dirty than the people that dig and work them? And yet they defile our minds more than our bodies, and make the possessor fouler than the artificer of them. Rich men, in fine, are only the greater slaves.
  • Of all the felicities, the most charming is that of a firm and gentle friendship. It sweetens all our cares, dispels our sorrows, and counsels us in all extremities. Nay, if there were no other comfort in it than the pare exercise of so generous a virtue, even for that single reason a man would not be without it; it is a sovereign antidote against all calamities – even against the fear of death itself.
  • Do not grudge your brother his rest. He has at last become free, safe and immortal, and ranges joyous through the boundless heavens; he has left this low-lying region and has soared upwards to that place which receives in its happy bosom the souls set free from the chains of matter. Your brother has not lost the light of day, but has obtained a more enduring light. He has not left us, but has gone on before.
  • The condition of all who are preoccupied is wretched, but most wretched is the condition of those who labor at preoccupations that are not even their own, who regulate their sleep by that of another, their walk by the pace of another, who are under orders in case of the freest things in the world-loving and hating. If these wish to know how short their life is, let them reflect how small a part of it is their own.
  • No one can lead a happy life, or even one that is bearable, without the pursuit of wisdom, and that the perfection of wisdom is what makes the happy life, although even the beginnings of wisdom make life bearable. Yet this conviction, clear as it is, needs to be strengthened and given deeper roots through daily reflection; making noble resolutions is not a important as keeping the resolutions you have made already.
  • Only a great man, believe me, and one whose excellence rises far above human failings, will not allow anything to be stolen from his own span of time, and his life is very long precisely because he has devoted to himself entirely any time that became available. None of it lay uncultivated and idle, none was under another man’s control, for guarding it most jealously, he found nothing worth exchanging for his own precious time.
  • My advice is really this: what we hear the philosophers saying and what we find in their writings should be applied in our pursuit of the happy life. We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application-not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech-and learn them so well that words become works.
  • For what prevents us from saying that the happy life is to have a mind that is free, lofty, fearless and steadfast – a mind that is placed beyond the reach of fear, beyond the reach of desire, that counts virtue the only good, baseness the only evil, and all else but a worthless mass of things, which come and go without increasing or diminishing the highest good, and neither subtract any part from the happy life nor add any part to it?
  • Cato, being scurrilously treated by a low and vicious fellow, quietly said to him, “A contest between us is very unequal, for thou canst bear ill language with ease, and return it with pleasure; but to me it is unusual to hear, and disagreeable to speak it.” There are none more abusive to others than they that lie most open to it themselves; but the humor goes round, and he that laughs at me today will have somebody to laugh at him tomorrow.
  • When some state or other offered Alexander a part of its territory and half of all its property he told them that ‘he hadn’t come to Asia with the intention of accepting whatever they cared to give him, but of letting them keep whatever he chose to leave them.’ Philosophy, likewise, tells all other occupations: ‘It’s not my intention to accept whatever time is leftover from you; you shall have, instead, what I reject.’ Give your whole mind to her.
  • In my own time there have been inventions of this sort, transparent windows tubes for diffusing warmth equally through all parts of a building short-hand, which has been carried to such a perfection that a writer can keep pace with the most rapid speaker. But the inventing of such things is drudgery for the lowest slaves; philosophy lies deeper. It is not her office to teach men how to use their hands. The object of her lessons is to form the soul.
  • You should rather suppose that those are involved in worthwhile duties who wish to have daily as their closest friends Zeno, Pythagoras, Democritus and all the other high priests of liberal studies, and Aristotle and Theophrastus. None of these will be too busy to see you, none of these will not send his visitor away happier and more devoted to himself, none of these will allow anyone to depart empty-handed. They are at home to all mortals by night and by day.
  • Limiting one’s desires actually helps to cure one of fear. ‘Cease to hope … and you will cease to fear.’ … Widely different [as fear and hope] are, the two of them march in unison like a prisoner and the escort he is handcuffed to. Fear keeps pace with hope … both belong to a mind in suspense, to a mind in a state of anxiety through looking into the future. Both are mainly due to projecting our thoughts far ahead of us instead of adapting ourselves to the present.
  • No man is nobler born than another, unless he is born with better abilities and a more amiable disposition. They who make such a parade with their family pictures and pedigrees, are, properly speaking, rather to be called noted or notorious than noble persons. I thought it right to say this much, in order to repel the insolence of men who depend entirely upon chance and accidental circumstances for distinction, and not at all on public services and personal merit.
  • It is man’s duty to live in conformity with the divine will, and this means, firstly, bringing his life into line with ‘nature’s laws’, and secondly, resigning himself completely and uncomplainingly to whatever fate may send him. Only by living thus, and not setting too high a value on things which can at any moment be taken away from him, can he discover that true, unshakeable peace and contentment to which ambition, luxury and above all avarice are among the greatest obstacles.
  • To expel hunger and thirst there is no necessity of sitting in a palace and submitting to the supercilious brow and contumelious favour of the rich and great there is no necessity of sailing upon the deep or of following the camp What nature wants is every where to be found and attainable without much difficulty whereas require the sweat of the brow for these we are obliged to dress anew j compelled to grow old in the field and driven to foreign mores A sufficiency is always at hand
  • …the geometrician teaches me how to work out the size of my estates rather than how to work out how much a man needs in order to have enough….You geometers can calculate the area of circles, can reduce any given shape to a square, can state the distances separating starts. Nothing’s outside your scope when it comes to measurement. Well, if you’re such an expert, measure a man’s soul; tell me how large or how small that is. You can define a straight line; what use is that to you if you’ve no idea what straightness means in life?
  • It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.
  • If you are bent on assuming a pose and never reveal yourself to anyone frankly, in the fashion of many who live a false life that is all made up for show; for it is torturous to be constantly watching oneself and be fearful of being caught out of our usual role. And we are never free from concern if we think that every time anyone looks at us he is always taking-our measure; for many things happen that strip off our pretence against our will, and, though all this attention to self is successful, yet the life of those who live under a mask cannot be happy and without anxiety.
  • Can anything be more idiotic than certain people who boast of their foresight? They keep themselves officiously preoccupied in order to improve their lives; they spend their lives in organizing their lives. They direct their purposes with an eye to a distant future. But putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining?
  • And this, too, affords no small occasion for anxieties – if you are bent on assuming a pose and never reveal yourself to anyone frankly, in the fashion of many who live a false life that is all made up for show; for it is torturous to be constantly watching oneself and be fearful of being caught out of our usual role. And we are never free from concern if we think that every time anyone looks at us he is always taking-our measure; for many things happen that strip off our pretence against our will, and, though all this attention to self is successful, yet the life of those who live under a mask cannot be happy and without anxiety. But how much pleasure there is in simplicity that is pure, in itself unadorned, and veils no part of its character!{PlainDealer+} Yet even such a life as this does run some risk of scorn, if everything lies open to everybody; for there are those who disdain whatever has become too familiar. But neither does virtue run any risk of being despised when she is brought close to the eyes, and it is better to be scorned by reason of simplicity than tortured by perpetual pretence.
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